Category
Planning

5 Steps to a Solar Passive Home

Collect  heat from the sun through windows. Ideally, windows should face within 30 degrees of due south. Absorb that heat with a storage element such as a masonry wall, a stone floor, or a water container that sits in the direct path of the sunlight. Store  the heat you’ve soaked up within that wall, floor, or container. The right materials will do that naturally. Distribute heat from the storage element to different areas of the house via conduction (the way heat moves through …

Comparing Package Quotes

Building that perfect log or timber home is a process that many people pursue only once or twice in a lifetime, so the benefit of personal experience is often rare. Considering the first major step, which is the comparison of quotes from qualified log and timber companies, advice from experienced professionals is pure gold. “The most important thing going in is to determine what you want and need,” assesses Mathew Sterchi, vice president of sales…

Select a Floorplan

Artistic architectural elements, a spectacular view, or even classic décor elements can combine to create a home of unspeakable beauty and functionality. But one element knits it all together: the floorplan. Whether the floorplan is selected from a design book or created as a one-of-a-kind design by a homeowner and architect team, it tells a story about a family and how they live in a home. “When considering your floorplan, think about your personal preference in regard to style. Ask yourself how you wa…

Putting a Plan in Place

The adventure of building your own log or timber frame home is a rewarding and possibly once in a lifetime experience. Keeping that home in tip-top shape is an ongoing process that begins with the first conversations concerning materials and design. Then, when the home is complete, you should take the initiative to ensure that a long-term maintenance plan is in the works. “Take time to research the options for maintenance products,” urges Barbara Murray, owner …

Raising the Roof

Modern construction materials and methods complement the rustic charm and appeal of log and timber homes, allowing owners to complete their project with the aesthetics they want with lasting, good-looking components. One of the most visible and structurally significant elements of a new home is the roof. The choices for roofing material are extensive, and two factors—location and climate—significantly influence the decision. “What really is going to matter is the type of weather wh…

Are You in Hot Water?

Twenty to 40 percent of an average household heating bill is just for hot water. And that’s just for common household hot water usage, such as laundry, baths and showers, and dishwashing.  Most of us rely on a conventional storage water heater, whether it is powered by electricity or gas. It provides all the hot water we need, as long as its size is designed for the number of people in the household. It has a fairly long life, maybe 15-20 years, and when it goes we replace it with another standard …

Buying Your Log Cabin Home

Sam and Gale Easter, self-described “loggies,” are enthusiastic about living in the log home of their dreams. But during the planning stages for the house, the couple took time to carefully research log home companies and builders. They were looking for professionals that would not only turn out a quality product, but who also would deal with them fairly and honestly. “The company we chose answered all our questions right up front,” says Gale, now owner of Roanoke River Valley Log Homes, LLC, an indepen…

Alternative Energy Sources

When Doug and Laurie Pooch built their central Iowa log home in 2005, they opted for a geothermal heating and cooling system—a unit similar to the one in their previous house. The Pooches, who are the owners of Cabin Fever Construction and dealers with Expedition Log Homes, say they simply wanted the same energy savings their customers look for. “We had geothermal in our previous log home and were pleased with it,” Doug says. “We wanted to make our home as energy efficient as possible and lower our long…

America’s Log Castles

That storybook log home, complete with the storybook look, is attainable—even for those who have to watch every penny. Materials and square footage are two primary drivers of a construction budget, but that unique dream home can become a reality without sacrificing style or comfort. Effectively managing the bottom line requires an evaluation of wants, needs, and personal preference. Consider the investment in living space. Options include scal…

To Chink or Not to Chink

It may be a simple case of personal preference, or it could be a vital component of structural integrity. In most cases, it is a little bit of both. Log and timber homeowners consistently confront the common question of whether to chink the interior or exterior of their homes, and the answer is as subjective as the style of the home itself. “Log or timber homes with wider gaps between the logs are built with chinking in mind,” explains John Schroeder of northern Minnesota-based…

Setting the Stages

It’s an undertaking that most folks will complete only once or twice in a lifetime, and building a log or timber home, they find, is a journey, a process that involves several distinct steps. An understanding of those steps and how they come together in the finished product is essential. “There are some things we run into that nobody can control,” acknowledges Brad Mercer, sales manager at Timberhaven Log & Timber Homes. “Unfortunately, the weather can play a part in the process. …

Ultimate Panoramas

Towering timbers, serene lake views, sweeping mountain vistas—log homes are a natural extension of the outdoors, and for many log home owners, the setting is as essential to their dream home as the structure itself. With such natural riches, it makes sense to invite the outdoors in by maximizing the views with your home design. The views should be considered right from the very first planning stages, and they will come into play with many decisions along the way.&nb…